The Telegraph
Thursday , December 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
Clay cool
Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology

Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology (GCECT), formerly known as Bengal Ceramic Institute, was established in 1941 by Sasadhar Roy, a student of Satyendra Nath Bose, one of the trailblazers in the field of ceramic technology studies.

Initially, the college used to offer certificate and diploma programmes. In 1962, BSc in ceramic technology was introduced under the affiliation of Calcutta University. This was later converted to BTech in ceramic technology in 2000. In 2001, BTech was introduced under West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT). Bachelor of engineering (BE) in information technology was introduced under the University of Calcutta in 2000. The college also offers MTech in ceramics. All the courses are affiliated to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.

“Although most people think ceramics is only used for making crockery or sanitary ware, actually it is used for a variety of purposes such as for making artificial knee-joints, eyeballs, artery-valves and artificial teeth and also for manufacturing the 'noses' of ballistic missiles. Nuclear wastes are stuffed in ceramic capsules and then neutralised. Space shuttles have ceramic linings to alleviate the heat caused by massive friction as a spacecraft enters the atmosphere,” says Prithwijit Guha, associate professor-cum-training and placement officer at GCECT.

Most of the faculty members have industry experience. Students securing ranks up to 3,500 are eligible to apply for ceramic studies while those with ranks up to 4,500 are eligible to apply for information technology and computer science and engineering courses.

GCECT, which has collaboration with a string of universities in Russia, Malaysia, the US, and the UK among others, has produced many students who are now working in multinational companies such as IBM, Cognizant Technology Solutions, St. Gobain Glass and Sterlite Optical Fiber among others. Many of the former students are research scholars at universities across the country as well as overseas.

Among the modules that are taught in BTech in ceramic technology course are glass technology, cement and concrete technology, white ware (tiles, sanitary wares and crockery), electronic ceramics, engineering ceramics (application in defence sector, space science), bio-ceramics (use in medical sphere) and modern ceramics (unconventional application of the material).

Refractory (a material with a very high melting point that is able to sustain its structural characteristics at high temperatures) studies constitute an important part of the course. A fare chunk of the students is placed in Tata Refractories, Grindwell Norton, Carborundum Universal and Vesuvius.

BTech students work as interns for a couple of months in various corporations in their respective spheres after the sixth semester and some of them get pre-placement offers, says Guha. BTech students start their career as graduate engineer trainees with salaries starting at Rs 3 lakh per annum.

The course fees are reasonable. The fully inclusive course fees for ceramic technology, IT and computer science are Rs 24,000, Rs 96,000 and Rs 48,000 respectively. MTech aspirants have to clear the postgraduate entrance test conducted by WBUT, although Gate qualifiers are eligible to apply as well. But does having an MTech enhances one’s profile? “Not really. A person with an MTech joins a company as a postgraduate engineer trainee and his salary is slightly higher than a BTech. Having an MTech broadens one’s vistas in the academic sphere,” adds Guha. According to Subhrajit Pandit, who graduated from GCECT in 2007 and now works as key accounts manager at St Gobain Glass, several of his classmates are working in central government undertakings. “Leading multinational companies such as Arcelormittal had visited our campus when we were in college,” says Pandit.

But most students think the college needs to pay attention to infrastructure, especially as the building is in a ramshackle state. The college also suffers from a dearth of space because of which it is not being able to start new courses.

Vital Statistics

An institute offering BTech in ceramic technology, information technology and computer science

Saikat Maitra is the officer in charge

Where is it?
73, Abinash Chandra Banerjee Lane, Calcutta-700010, Phone: 23701263/ 23633674 / 23633675

Good faculty members, reasonable course fees, 100 per cent placement

Poor infrastructure, lack of space